China Machado, the first mixed-race supermodel, has died. She was 86.
Born in Shanghai to Chinese and Portuguese parents, China Machado (1929-2016) was famous for working with Richard Avedon and Hubert de Givenchy. Later, she became a different kind of pioneer, as a model-turned-editor, when she succeeded Diana Vreeland as fashion director at Harper’s Bazaar.
According to a 2010 profile, Machado made most of her own clothes, having learned to sew from her aunts in Shanghai. She returned to modelling in her eighties.
In the ’70s, China Machado designed a Very Easy Vogue pattern for stretch knits, dubbed “The Shortcuts.” The collaboration was the subject of a four-page feature in Vogue Patterns magazine (click to enlarge):
The wardrobe pattern of “nine easy pieces” for resort and lounge wear included a bikini, cover-ups, a skirt and pantskirt, and even a one-shouldered toga ensemble:
Another modelling pioneer, Beverly Johnson, wore Machado’s designs in Vogue magazine:
For more on China Machado, see Vanessa Friedman’s obituary or Bridget Foley’s 2010 profile for W.